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Chris Gholson

Dry-Washing for Gold!

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A good friend and customer of ours sent over these photos of some amazing gold he recovered using a dry-washer. Even though all the gold was small, it quickly added up to over 2-ounces! It was found not far from Randsburg, CA and was taken in only two outings!...We always love seeing the yellow metal and I want to thank Daine (the lucky finder) for sharing these photos with us. Keep up the good work :)

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Really nice to see some drywash gold Chris. Could you ask your friends to tell us a little more about their dry washing equipment. I want to try dry mining this summer. I’ve never done this myself.

Thanks Chris and Daine,

Mike

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Mike, I believe Daine uses the KEENE 141 dry-washer, which is a little smaller than the better known 151. Before I got so involved with metal detecting, all I did every weekend was go dry-washing. It's a lot of work, but there's something rewarding about getting getting to check the riffle box before a clean up. I always loved seeing those bright yellow pickers mixed in with the black sand! The metal detector + dry-washer is in IMHO the best way to find gold in the desert...I am always happy to help if you have any questions about dw'ing. 

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Dry washing is an important tool to go with detecting. I've found plenty of little patches that give a dozen or more smaller nuggets in a limited area. Dry washing is a great way to clean out that patch and get all the gold in the area. The photo below is from a little patch about 5 x 30 feet in size. Nuggets on the right were detected when the patch was found, gold on the left of the coins was dry washed from the same spot after the nuggets got harder and harder to find. The dirt was only 6 to 10 inches deep at this spot.  Detected gold was around 15 dwt, dry washed gold around 10 dwt. I've dry washed a few more dwt from this area since and detected a few more as well, but this was the heart of the area.

Interesting too on the original photos of the gold the guy got near Randsburg. I dry washed near there maybe 40 years ago. Its surprising how small the size of gold a dry washer will get.  On the dust sized gold you are not getting 95% recovery but even of you are only getting 75% on the really small stuff, it still can add up to a lot of gold.

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